10 Non Traditional Spring Break Ideas For You and Your Family

OH. MY. GOD. You guys. I just can’t even wrap my head around what happened on The Bachelor last night. (Skip this paragraph if you don’t want spoilers!) I will leave ALL my thoughts out there tomorrow when #WhatUpWednesday rolls around (and trust me, I have a lot to say), but OMG. I just can’t even believe the lack of empathy that Arie showed last night. Audrey Hepburn said it best… “Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being’s suffering. Nothing—not career, not wealth, not intelligence, certainly not status. We have to feel for one another if we’re going to survive with dignity.” And my skin has never crawled more than it did watching Arie break up with Becca last night. For now, that’s all I’m going to say. But I’ll leave you with this…

Tanner Tolbert bringing the smiles in a seriously awful situation! 

Alright… let’s start this post the right way now 🙂

Hey Hey! Happy Travel Tuesday Everyone! I’m back this week with a new series that will take us to the end of March. Last year, I did an entire week of family Spring Break ideas and overwhelmingly, people told me how much they loved my ideas and would have to remember them for next year. So this year, I decided we’d talk about Spring Break every Tuesday this month, since most schools don’t start their Spring Breaks until April. So *fingers crossed* these posts will be slightly more helpful this year!

We’re kickin’ off this series with Non Traditional Spring Breaks! Everyone knows that you can escape to the beaches of Florida as soon as Spring hits. But there is an entire world out there that you can escape to! So let’s escape the red solo cups, teeny bikinis and mouse ears. Where should you and your family start your adventure this Spring? (PS… these are all domestic trips that can be planned last minute! So don’t worry… you still have time to book!)

For the Outdoorsy Family: Pick a National Park, any National Park. Whichever you choose is guaranteed to be a wonderful adventure filled with gorgeous views, fun and memories that will last you a life time. But what park should you choose? The Travel Channel claims these are the best National Parks for Families, and I have to agree! (Although, I think The Great Smoky Mountains and The Badlands should have made the list too!) Just be sure to check the weather before you book a trip. Spring in The Tetons might feel more like Christmas Vacation than Spring Break! (Not that this would matter… because The Tetons are legit perfect any time of year!)

Thinking a National Park sounds like the right fit for your family? Check out a few of my National Park guides below before you go!

The Great Smoky Mountains

Smoky Mountain City Guide

National Park Hiking Guide: The Great Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Things To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Hiking

Smoky Mountain Itineraries Part 1

Smoky Mountain Itineraries Part 2

See Y’all Soon, Smoky Mountains

Jackson Hole, WY

Grand Teton National Park; Bradley, Taggart and Phelps Lakes

Jackson Hole Scenic Drives

Granite Hot Springs and the Jackson Hole Rodeo

Cascade Canyon


That Time Wyoming Stole My Heart…

For the Classic Family: Is there anything more classic than a Road Trip? Pack up the van and take the family on a trip where “getting there” really is half the fun! I did an entire post on why I love road trips, that you can read here! Where should you take your family for an epic Spring Break Road Trip? Think the classics… like The Grand Canyon, Route 66 or Mt. Rushmore.

Thinking a Road Trip is the way to go? Check out my posts on South Dakota for some fun ideas before you head on your classic adventure!

The Badlands and Wall Drug

Keystone, South Dakota

For the History Lovin’ Family: Are your family members a bunch of history buffs like mine? Take them on the trip they’ll never forget to immerse themselves in history and Americana and spend your Spring Break in Washington DC!

Ready to get your history on? I did an entire series on DC! Check out my posts below.

Washington DC

National Harbor, Maryland

Guide to The Smithsonian: Tips and Tricks for making the most of your time at these amazing museums!

10 DC Must Sees… That aren’t The Smithsonian

Monuments and Memorials: A Guide to D.C.’s Best

Arlington National Cemetery

DC Eats that Won’t Break the Bank

How to Navigate the DC Metro Like A Pro.

The National Zoo

Until Next Time, D.C.

For the Sporty Family: Spring Break is usually synonyms with sunshine, warm weather and sand. But it doesn’t have to be! Does your family love to ski? Take them on one last Ski Trip of the season. Late Season Skiing may not be quite as good as fresh powder in January, but you’ll score some seriously great discounts at some of the best resorts in the country. (Think Aspen, Breckenridge, Jackson Hole, Tahoe and Park City.)

For the Beach Loving Family:  I suppose I can’t do a Spring Break post without at least one beachy locale! So let’s head to the South y’all. When I think of the best cities in the South, Savannah Georgia comes to mind. It’s beautiful, historic, and filled to the brim with that sweet southern charm. But let’s be honest, if I’m heading South for Spring Break, I want to be able to head to the beach. Enter Tybee Island. Only a short 30 minute drive from Savannah, you’ll find yourself in another world as soon as you cross the bridge to “Savannah’s Beach.” With miles of public beach, piers, deep sea fishing, shopping and restaurants, you will absolutely fall in love with this little beach town. And I can promise you, your entire family will be asking when they can go back. \

For the City Slickers: If you’re from the Mid West, chances are, you already know how great the city of Chicago is. And if you’re not, you’re about to find out. From adventures and culture, to culinary excellence and my beloved Lake Michigan, The Windy City is a place you want to visit. Trust me. Take your kids to some seriously stellar museums, take pictures in Millennium Park, catch a game at Wrigley Field, be on top of the world at Sears Willis Tower, go shopping on The Magnificent Mile, check out the Lincoln Park Zoo, and eat a Chicago Dog (or 20).  This city will steal a piece of your heart.

For the Kids Who Just Want to Swim: Pick a water park, any water park. Chances are, you’ve got a great one close to home because the USA is bursting with massive indoor waterparks for your little ones! In Michigan, we’ve got Avalanche Bay and Great Wolf Lodge. If you want to try an outdoor waterpark, try a state like Texas. Where you can visit Texas Hill Country and the Schlitterbahn that is voted one of the world’s best water parks year after year!n

For the “Dudes”: Have you ever wanted to go to a dude ranch?! That can’t just be me. Ever since I saw How The West Was Fun (one of the greatest MKA movies OF ALL TIME) I’ve thought a week at a dude ranch sounded like so much fun! There are literally THOUSANDS of Dude Ranches across America! And you’re guaranteed to find one that is the perfect fit for you and your family to get back to the Old West. (PS… I’d pick a Dude Ranch in Texas or Arizona where it will be warmer than Colorado or Wyoming in April!)

For the Family Who Has A Kid That Is Obsessed With Trains: LOL but for real. Half of my 5 year olds are obsessed with trains. So why not make their damn life and book a train trip? I know it was the highlight of my year when I got to ride the train from Holland to Chicago one Spring Break when I was younger. I felt SO COOL and literally had the best Spring Break stories to tell when I got back to school. Check out local train stations and see where you can book a ticket to! You might be surprised at how affordable a rail trip could be for you and your family!

For the Family Who Wants the Biggest Bang For Their Buck: Book a last minute, weekend cruise. Seriously. You can still book cruises for April and they’ll be crazy discounted because you waited until the last minute to decide to go. (Think 4 night Bahamas Cruise for $300 pp.) And, with so many departure ports, you’ll probably be able to find a port pretty close to home. Plus, cruises are easy to pick up and go last minute because they are all inclusive. Everything is there, and you legit don’t have to worry about planning anything. Just pack up and go enjoy yourself!

So what are you and your family doing this Spring Break? Got room for one more? I’ll gladly snuggle into your suitcases 🙂 Next week, I’m back to share a few last minute trips that you can STILL book and the awesome deals you can get on them. You won’t want to miss it, so make sure you’re subscribed! My posts will be delivered to your inbox every morning when they go live 🙂

Alright guys! I’m back tomorrow for #WhatUpWednesday and to be honest, it’s probably going to mostly be about THAT Bachelor finale last night!!! I’ll talk to you then!



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